Measure E-related construction is scheduled to start in late June at , almost four years after voters passed the $334 million bond to fund renovations at all five city schools.
The Board of Education has allocated about to renovate the school, including $3 million to modernize the auditorium. Work on the auditorium is scheduled to begin soon after the academic year ends June 22, according to Principal Steven Kessler. The school will be without an auditorium until at least February 2013.
Additional renovations are slated to begin next spring or summer and will take at least two years to complete. Horace Mann staff and administrators have been meeting with the project architect overseeing the construction plans every two weeks for the past few months to add their input, Kessler said.
The school board majority agreed last week to a design that includes elements suggested by Horace Mann staff. It incorporates a campus tower that will be used by students as a weather station and site for a telescope, Kessler said. The school is the only K-8 campus in the city without a tower.
The approved design—which may be refined over the coming year—also includes adding more “Spanish-style” stained-glass windows to the building to give it a historic feel.
Board member Lewis Hall dissented on the design proposal presented at a May 2 study session, which he described as “piecemeal” rather than comprehensive.
“I believe that the city’s Architectural Commission should first view the designs as part of a design process,” Hall told Patch. “Although I have 30 years of a design experience, I didn’t feel qualified to judge the designs and give direction” to district staff. Hall teaches multimedia at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
Horace Mann first opened Dec. 19, 1929, as a 30-room Spanish-style building for 307 students, according to the history section of the school’s website.
For a picture of the suggested new design, click here.